Amgen has introduced a programme called Biomarker Assist to allow more patients with metastatic (stage IV) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to obtain access to biomarker testing.

During diagnosis, biomarker testing is a crucial first step to ensure the right treatment for patients. Using Biomarker Assist, eligible patients can save on biomarker testing.

Biomarker Assist combines the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Affordability Programme and the KRAS Single Gene Test (SGT) Programme.

The NGS Affordability Programme offers eligible patients affordable rates on a complete biomarker panel for advanced or metastatic (stage IV) NSCLC. This panel must include the KRAS gene.

The KRAS SGT Programme will then offer a KRAS Mutation Analysis for free to eligible patients, irrespective of their results and insurance.

Amgen Global Medical senior vice-president Darryl Sleep said: “Approximately half of all patients with NSCLC have oncogene biomarkers, yet despite the integral role that biomarkers play in lung cancer to identify patients who may benefit from targeted therapies, many patients are not tested.

“Amgen is excited to launch Biomarker Assist, a patient support programme that demonstrates our commitment to closing the gap in testing rates.

“Based on a patient’s biomarker status, clinicians and patients can make informed decisions on personalised treatment plans and targeted therapies which have significantly improved the prognosis for many patients.”

Professional clinical guidelines, including the College of American Pathologists, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, the Association for Molecular Pathology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology advise comprehensive biomarker testing of multiple genes simultaneously.

This testing is recommended for both actionable and emerging biomarkers for advanced NSCLC patients irrespective of clinical attributes such as age, race or smoking status.